Coding Clicks for K–12

Parents, district administrators and the community agree that computer science and coding classes will help students develop the workplace skills they will need to be successful in the future.

Data collected as part of Project Tomorrow's Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning revealed substantial increases in support for coding classes, including a 21-point gain from parents from 2014 to 2016, an 18-point gain for district administrators from 2015 to 2016 and an 11-point gain from community members from 2015 to 2016. (See Fig. 1.)

Fig. 1: Support for Coding/Programming in K–12 Schools

Fig. 1: Support for Coding/Programming in K–12 Schools

Students Young and Old Are Interested

About two-thirds (67 percent) of K–2 students are interested in learning "how to write programs to make computers do things, like in Scratch or Minecraft," and 8 percent said they already do this. A similarly substantial 61 percent of 3–5 students are interested, and 13 percent said they are already learning this skill.

Among the older students, 63 percent of middle school students said they would be interested in a class or after school activity to learn how to do computer programming or coding (up from 52 percent in 2014); 58 percent of high school students agreed (up from 44 percent in 2014). Just 6 percent of 6th–12th graders are currently doing this.

Online Learning Is Here

Students told Project Tomorrow they have taken or would like to take computer science, programming and coding classes online. (See Fig. 2.)

Fig. 2: Student Participation in Online Coding and CS Courses

Fig. 2: Student Participation in Online Coding and CS Courses

The data here were compiled in a survey conducted by Project Tomorrow involving 435,510 K–12 students, 38,512 teachers, 4,592 administrators and 29,670 parents. The Speak Up Survey was conducted between October 2016 and January 2017.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).